Sunday, May 8, 2016

May, 2016, Part 3, Political Class Insanity: Nobody Likes Clinton and Trump, Afghanistan Fail and More

It is the beginning of another month which means it is time again to review the latest political class insanity from the American political class. Each month it takes us multiple posts to cover the wasteful spending, incompetent government organizations and employees, government programs that usually make a problem worse than resolving it, inane and idiotic politician comments, etc. In fact, last month we set a record, needing ten full posts to cover it all.

To review past posts on this insanity and idiocy, just click on the first few posts in each month listed to the right of this page. After reviewing just a handful of these insanity posts we think you will agree that we are currently being served by the worst set of American politicians ever to hold office in our entire history.

It looks like our politicians have been especially insane over the past month or so let’s get started with the latest insanity from today’s American politicians:

1) As of the April 29, 2016 issue of The Week magazine, not one of the five remaining Presidential candidates, Trump, Kasich, Cruz, Sanders, or Clinton, was regarded favorably by a majority of those polled by a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. Trump was the most disliked candidate with 65% of those polled viewing him unfavorably and only 24% viewing him favorably. 56% view Clinton unfavorably and only 32% view her favorably but that gap between the two measures is getting worse over time, doubling in the past month of that issue of The Week.

Bottom line: our political processes are so broken in this country that even the last standing candidates are viewed with disdain by the majority of Americans. Maybe it is time to change the processes since what we have now is obviously not working.

2) Staying with that same issue of The Week, an article in that issue reviewed how a Taliban truck bombing in the center of the Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan, killed at least 64 people and wounded hundreds more. Many of those hurt and killed were women and children and other other civilians. At the same time of the bomb’s detonation, Taliban gunmen entered the government’s National Security Directorate building, that nation’s equivalent Secret Service organization, and began firing.

Thus, after more than a decade of supporting the war effort in Afghanistan, trillions of taxpayer dollars spent, and thousands of U.S. military personnel killed and wounded, this country still cannot stop a massive bombing within the capital’s city limits and a direct attack on what should be a secure branch of the government. From Bush to Obama, what a massive military, foreign affairs, and economic failure.

3) We often talk about how screwed up the country's tax code is today. It is long, cumbersome, impossible to police, and detrimental to economic growth. An article from The Atlantic, that was summarized in the April 29, 2016 issue of The Week magazine, outlined how out of the $4 TRILLION in profits that the top 50 American companies made from 2008 through 2014, $1 TRILLION of those profits have been left off shore in other countries to avoid paying the second highest corporate income tax rate in the world in the U.S. 

Imagine how much good $1 TRILLION would be for this economy if the political class actually had put together a coherent tax code that encouraged companies to invest in America rather than stranding a trillion dollars overseas, a trillion dollars that generate no taxes for the Federal government and create no incremental economic advantages for American workers. Insanity...with a lot of zeros attached to that dollar sign.

4) Staying with the same issue of The Week magazine, April 29, 2016, there was a synopsis of an article written by Malik Jalal for The Independent in England. Mr. Jalal claims that he is a member of the North Waziristan Peace Committee, a group of Pakistani tribal leaders that are trying to find peace among the warring parties in Pakistan, parties that include the Taliban. He claims that while his own government recognizes their mission and search for peace, the Obama administration has ruled them as a terrorist group aligned with the Taliban and has been trying to kill him with a series of drone attacks since he has been placed on a U.S. kill list.

As a result, multiple times U.S. drones have attacked him or what they thought was him with the following results:

  • The first drone attack destroyed his car and injured his nephew who had borrowed the car while killing four innocent men in an adjacent vehicle.
  • The next drone attack blew up a car similar to his, killing another four innocent Pakistanis.
  • The next attack killed three more innocent victims.
  • A fourth drone strike, aimed at tribal leaders, killed 40 people.
  • 51 people killed without successfully killing the intended target.
  • He also claims that U.S. drone attacks kill nine Pakistani children for every successful killing of an intended target. 
I have no idea if he is telling the truth. But if he is telling the truth, how much more insanity, wasted taxpayer wealth, and killing of innocent civilians will there have to be before the Obama administration takes a hard look at what looks like a horrible military and public relations program.

5) We always like to give equal time to corrupt politicians regardless of what level of government they serve. Natalie Johnson, writing for the Washington Free Beacon on May 3, 2016, helped us with that objective when she reported that former New York State Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, was sentenced in Federal court to 12 years in prison on corruption charges. In addition, Silver will have to pay back $5.2 million in the money he stole and another $1.75 million in criminal fines.

He was found guilty of getting $5.2 million from his corruption activities over a two decade period. These illegal activities, from a legal perspective, involved honest-services fraud, extortion and money laundering. The good news is that he was caught and found guilty and will spend 12 years in prison. The bad news is why did it take 20 years to get him for his corruption. That’s the insanity of the whole situation.

6) Citizens Against Government Waste are an organization that identifies and shames wasteful government spending in Washington. Every year, they publish their annual”Pig Book” which documents the worse pork barrel spending and wasting of taxpayer money by the political class in Washington in the past 12 months. This year they added another feature to their website which documents their “Pork Of Shame,” some of their most egregious wasteful spending of taxpayer wealth. A few "Pork Of Shame" entrants include the following idiotic spending of Congress:

  • $15 million for “wood utilization research.”
  • $681,000 for one latrine at Fort Harrison.
  • $77.2 million for bike paths.
  • $10.1 million for peanut research.
  • $7.3 million for grasshopper research.
  • $1 million for a dinosaur exhibit at the LA Museum
  • $273,000 to “combat Goth culture.”
  • $3 million for the Alaskan “bridge to nowhere.”
  • $350,000 for the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame.
  • $16.1 million for brown snake research.
  • $500,000 for the Sparta Teapot Museum.
  • $1.8 million for “swine odor and manure management.”
  • $948.6 million for Abrams tanks... that the Pentagon does not want or need.
The entire list can be seen at:

Keep in mind, as we often remind readers, that while the Washington political class was spending real dollars and taxpayer wealth on these inane projects, millions of Americans were going hungry, were homeless, were drug addicted, were unemployed or were without proper health care, including thousands of our veterans. 

Now ask yourself if we really needed to spend $500,000 on a Teapot museum and not on these unfortunate Americans. 

Did we really need to spend over a quarter of a million dollars to combat a lifestyle choice, Goth, and not on on these unfortunate Americans? 

Shouldn’t people or industries of these vested interests, e.g. the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the pork industry, the peanut industry, etc., pay for their own interests and either let the taxpayers keep their own money or divert this vested interest money to the unfortunate Americans who need help.

Just another set of outrageously bad priorities in this country as forced on us by the political class. 

That will do it for today’s insanity. Bad spending priorities, political corruption, a potentially ineffective and inhumane drone military program, a stranded trillion dollars, failure in Afghanistan, and leading political figures that no one likes. You cannot make up this insanity, it is too gruesome and original. More tomorrow.

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